chef head (andrew carmellini)

Every since we saw the video Andrew Carmellini, mastermind of the great Locanda Verde,  made to build buzz in his soon-to-open NYC restaurant, Dutch, we’ve been FEELING the restaurant as it comes together in the crazed couple of weeks before opening. Maybe that’s because Sally actually worked nearby at the old Soho Charcuterie on Sullivan Street; she made pates and terrines all day in the basement prep kitchen and would take breaks in the bocce court next door (now long gone, along with the neighborhood’s Italians). Restaurant memories live in the bones.

Maybe it’s because the video (possibly even better with the sound off) conveys a sort of chef head of late night foraging around town, of all the things that fly IN to that head that end up becoming a dish.

We were so intrigued, we took a screen shot of the quickly uncrumpling blueprint in the video so we could take a closer look at the new restaurant:

And that made us forage around Carmellini’s website, where we found videos of him making some of his dishes.

In one, he dresses microwaved asparagus with a simple sauce of olive oil and citrus, a recipe from his book Urban Italian. It echoes a sauce Roger Vergé, chef of Moulin des Mougins in southern France created in the 90′s; he used it to sauce fish. No surprise: Verge’s South of France is a stone’s throw from Carmellini’s Italy. It reminded us that great chefs, like great artists, often REdiscover ideas that have been already been found – days, or years or centuries ago – then put them to new use, give them a new spin, imbue them with a new greatness, in their own way…

…like the a coconut cream pie infused with lemongrass that we hear will be on the Dutch’s menu…

Andrew Carmellini

Fire and smoke have been around forever…

Video link here.

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